Dec. 26, 1950 – Sept. 27, 2013
Connie C. Bowman, a social studies teacher for more than three decades with a gift for relating to students, died Friday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Amherst. She was 62.
After growing up in Mississippi, the fourth of seven children, Mrs. Bowman moved to Western New York with her husband Albert for his job as purchasing manager at Delphi Harrison. Her teaching career included posts at North Park Junior High School in Lockport, as adjunct professor at the University at Buffalo School of Education and, most recently, a teacher at Burgard High School.
Last year, when the school planned a trip to Washington, D.C., for President Obama’s inauguration, one student who couldn’t afford to go was surprised to hear he was on the list.
“My mother had paid for him to go,” said Kimberly Nicole Bowman, her daughter. “She loved teaching. If she could, she would have died in the classroom.”
She made a point of calling parents to involve them in school and stocked up on school supplies so she had them on hand for students in need, according to her daughter. She kept up with technology, learning to do Power Point presentations and incorporating student interests into lessons and bulletin boards.
Mrs. Bowman earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees with honors at Jackson State University in Mississippi. She stayed connected to her sorority. In 1985, she joined four other sorority members of Zeta Phi Beta and founded a chartered Buffalo chapter: Kappa Upsilon Zeta. A lover of Scrabble, she joined Facebook so she could play “Words with Friends.”
Survivors in addition to her husband of 40 years, include three brothers, Johnny, Lee and Robert Chapman; two sisters, Barbara and Georgia Chapman; two daughters, Kimberly Nicole and Chanda Katrice; and a son. Albert Andre.
A memorial service was held in Buffalo and a funeral will be held Saturday in Batesville, Miss.